Wood Wins State Fair Event With Last-Lap Pass OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (October 30) -- Move over Pennsylvania Posse and Midwest Mafia; the Oklahoma Outlaws are staking their claim as a major force in sprint car racing. Danny Wood, who lives in nearby...
Wood Wins State Fair Event With Last-Lap Pass
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (October 30) -- Move over Pennsylvania Posse and Midwest Mafia; the Oklahoma Outlaws are staking their claim as a major force in sprint car racing.
Danny Wood, who lives in nearby Norman, OK, gave the Sooner State its fourth victory in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' last five feature races Tuesday when he passed Johnny Herrera in the fourth corner on the final lap to win the O'Reilly Grand Finale at State Fair Speedway.
"I wanted (to win) one in front of my hometown fans so bad," Wood said following his third "A" Feature victory of the season. "Johnny ran a great race; he gave me all I could handle. I thought I got him there the one time, and he turned it back underneath me and showed me what he's made of. I hope everyone in the stands enjoyed that one, because that's what World of Outlaws racing is all about!
"I can't say enough for Wesmar engines, Avenger chassis and Hoosier tires. This Wesmar engine is something new that we've been trying and it ran great tonight. Rob (Hart) and Cathy (Barrows) gave me a good car to race tonight. I think I've been racing here since before I was born, and to win here in front of my car owners and everyone, it just means so much. Donnie and Sherrie (Woodburn) and Hop-n-Sac have supported me in this deal, and I can't say enough about them. I asked the Lord to bless this race, and for a good safe race, and I owe this one to Him. He was riding with me the whole way."
Wood, the 13th-fastest qualifier in the 34-car field, won the First O'Reilly Heat Race and earned the right to start the 30-lap main event outside the front row by following Herrera across the finish line in the Channellock Dash.
Herrera, who was also powered to victory at State Fair Speedway by a Wesmar engine in 1993, burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion Daryn Pittman, who lives in Owasso, OK, passed former Oklahoman Brad Furr for second place late in the opening lap.
Herrera was approaching lapped traffic during the sixth lap when Paul McMahan stopped in the second corner with a blown engine. Wood challenged Herrera for the lead as the green flag replaced the yellow, but was unable to surge ahead in turns one and two.
Jason Meyers drove the #20 Eagle Raceway Maxim past Furr -- a fellow Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate -- deep in the second corner to take over third place the next time around.
Herrera, who drove Oklahoman Jeff Gilliam's sprint car in the early 1990s, was three car-lengths ahead of Wood when they entered lapped traffic midway through the race. Wood raced wheel-to-wheel with Herrera through turn four one lap later, but was unable to take the lead.
The former Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Rookies of the Year were battling again two laps later when Wood almost crashed in the infield. After racing with Herrera down the front straightaway, Wood jumped the berm in the first corner and fell 12 car-lengths behind as he regained control of the car.
Wood caught Herrera again seven laps later. "The Flying Fossil" passed Johnny with a slide move in turn two early in the 28th lap, only to have Herrera steer the #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim into the low groove to regain first place.
Wood continued to challenge Herrera through every corner on the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds' semi-banked, ½-mile oval before steering the #21W Pepsi Avenger into the low groove in the fourth corner and sliding in front of Johnny to take the lead. Only one car-length separated Wood and Herrera at the checkered flag.
"Man, what can I say?" Herrera said. "Danny did a great job there at the end. He got by me in the corner, and I got him back. But in the last corner, well, it's like it's better to be running second in a situation like that.
"We've had some good runs lately in the Casey's car. We built a little different kind of car for Charlotte (October 5-6). Most of the year we've been trying to figure out our motor program, getting the fuel right. These cars and engines are so close now, the fine tuning makes all the difference."
Meyers, the runner-up in the Bud Carson Memorial at State Fair Speedway in June, finished in third place. Furr finished fourth, ahead of Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski, Oklahoman Andy Hillenburg, Joey Saldana, 19th-starting Tim Shaffer, Pittman and Steve Kinser, who won the first two Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series events at State Fair Speedway this year.
"The Dude" increased his advantage over Mark Kinser to 21 points when "Mopar Mark" finished in 12th place. Kinser, who won series championships in 1996 and 1999, will have to beat Lasoski by eight positions in each racing program during the season finale -- the Mopar Parts World Finals -- at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to claim his third title.